Monday, December 9, 2013

HP delivers more thrust for Project Moonshot

By Bill Moran, Rich Ptak

HP originally announced Project Moonshot in November of 2012. The idea behind Moonshot is to deliver software defined servers. HP predicted that future growth in the Internet along with the data increase this creates would require unsustainable growth in the data center if standard server technology were used. Therefore, a new series of software defined servers was required. These servers would use far less space, less energy and cost far less than standard x86 servers. HP christened these new servers as Moonshot.

Since then, they have been steadily enhancing the Moonshot offering. After shipping the first wave of servers, HP focused on building the Moonshot ecosystems. To that end, they focused on bringing more partners on board. Then, they extended the server types.

Originally, they had an Intel Atom offering but now have added an AMD based server as well as a TI based server for LTE processing, the m800 server cartridge. .HP has also upgraded their Intel offering with the m300 cartridge, based on Intel's Atom 2750. In addition to three Linux offerings it provides Windows Server support. This server is targeted at Web Server, Analytics, and Mobile Content Delivery Networks. It looks like a real winner to us.

This month, they are adding the m700 server cartridge. In conjunction with Citrix, this server will offer desktop support. It will be a part of the HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops. Compared to traditional desktop deployments, HP projects that it will offer up to 90% faster deployment with 44% better TCO and 63% less power. It currently supports Windows 7, which may be a bit of a hindrance since new Windows 7 deployments may be limited. However, HP has an offering that helps customers migrate to Windows XP. They are a natural target for this product.

HP has added Moonshot proof points. First, the developers have partnered with HP's internal IT group. As a consequence, (HP's web gateway) and HP's driver update web sites are both hosted on Moonshot. These web sites are processing 300 million hits per day while using 89% less space and 94% less power than conventional X86 servers would need. They are doing this with only 6 Moonshot chassis.

A second proof point is a customer, serverCONDO. This customer provides dedicated hosting to its clients. This customer says that Moonshot gives them 80% less space, 89% less energy and 77% reduction in costs. Thus, they are confirming HP's published metrics. 

HP has also extended its Discovery Lab Network. These are HP sites where customers and ISVs can try out HP technologies and products. They can now test and benchmark the latest Moonshot systems at sites in Houston Texas, Grenoble in France, Singapore, and Purdue University in Indiana (USA). The Purdue and Singapore sites are new. Singapore adds to HP’s presence in the Asian market.

Our bottom line is that with Moonshot, HP is laying a necessary foundation for future growth. While shipments to date have not been huge, we think that possibilities for the future are very good. Customers whose requirements intersect with any of the Moonshot offerings should definitely take a closer look.